5 Dec. 2008
PR# 2008-683

Afghan officials thank Canadian PRT

Correctional Service of Canada and Afghan officials pose for a group photo following an awards ceremony. Back row, left to right: Kevin Cluett; Rob Cater; Paula Milino, Director; and Randie Scott. Front row, left to right: Lieutenant Colonel Nabi Gul, Sarposa registrar; Colonel Mohammad Ismail, director of education and training; Colonel Ghulam Farooq, logistics; Abdullah Balwar, Sarposa Prison director; and Captain Assadullah.

A KABUL, Afghanistan - The Sarposa Prison break in June 2008 was a set back for Afghan and Canadian officials in efforts to bring the facility up to international standards and for the perception of security in Kandahar city. However, Afghan and Canadian officials have rallied from the incident and moved forward.

In recognition of Canada’s contribution in supporting training, mentoring and infrastructure development at the prison, the Ministry of Justice presented members of ISAF’s Kandahar Provincial Construction Team (KPRT) with an award.

“Building the capacity of the corrections sector is important to Afghans. We want to thank the Canadians from the KPRT for everything they have done to support us,” said Colonel Abdullah Balwar, director of Sarposa Prison. “The prison staff are eager to learn and want to improve their skills. Through the training and mentoring the Canadian officials have delivered my staff has significantly increased their level of professionalism.”

Colonel Balwar presented the awards Nov. 27 to four members of the Correctional Service of Canada, two members from the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and two members from the Canadian Forces.

“After the prison break we re-grouped and moved quickly to re-build damaged infrastructure, address security requirements, strengthen training for the Afghan staff and develop contingency planning,” said Elissa Golberg, Canada’s representative in Kandahar. “Since the incident, focussed efforts have resulted in significant progress. I am very proud of what our team has accomplished.”

In June 2008, the Canadian government announced an additional $4 million in support of the reconstruction of Sarposa Prison. Up to $2 million directly supported urgently needed repairs resulting from the attack, including the reconstruction of the prison gates, walls and towers. The remaining funds were allocated to a variety of initiatives including upgrades to the infirmary, electrical installations and flooring, purchase of uniforms and training supplies, the delivery of training and mentoring in human rights, basic security measures, and funding for operations and maintenance.

Canada is in Afghanistan to help Afghans rebuild their country with the aim of establishing a stable, democratic and self-sufficient society. More than 50 other nations and dozens of international organizations are contributing to this aim, at the request of the democratically-elected Afghan government.

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
Tel: +93 (0)799 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/